This study is an attempt to compare and contrast the marketing messages of Skoda and Ford in the European Auto market. It is an example of divergent messages being delivered to similar audiences and the effectiveness of both approaches. It looks at the problems of both companies and the opportunities available to them. It then evaluates how both have devised strategies to benefit from divergent approaches.
Introduction – Overview of UK Auto Market
The auto market in 2009 is a global market and any investment analysis based only on the European market or the UK market must by virtue of its limitations be flawed. Both the European market and specifically the market in the United Kingdom are essentially static.
There are only 7 vehicle producers in the United Kingdom and the UK market represents approximately 3.5-4% of the world auto market. (Smmt.Co.Uk, 2009) In terms of market dynamics, the following table demonstrates the stagnation of the UK market:
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It is clear that there is no real growth in the UK market, and its relative position in the European Union as a market, let alone the world market is slipping. The balance of this analysis must be viewed against this background. The specifications for the project limit this analysis to Skoda and one other brand. Based on data provided by Lings Cars.com, the largest selling brands in the UK are Ford with about a 16% share and Vauxhall with about 12%. Soda’s market share in the UK is less than 2%. If all Volkswagen brands including SEAT and Skoda are combined the company is in the 12% share area, about tied with Vauxhall. (LingsCars.com, 2009) What is clear from the above is that substantial marketing progress in the UK market can be made only at the expense of competitors, as the market is static at best. The world situation is far different and any investment decision based on an analysis of the auto market could not be made based solely on the UK market but would have to include the world auto market considerations.
2.0 Literature Review-The objective of marketing communications
There is an abundance of academic literature on marketing communications most of which is outdated in that it pays little or no attention to the importance of the Internet and its impact on marketing. “Generations of Consumers and the Consumer Generated” by Kumar, Hsiao, & Chiu addresses this question admirably and is the foundation of the research for this project. (Kumar, Hsiao, & Chiu , 2009)
Marketing communications is focused on product/branding/service and image. It is trying to sell products as opposed to the image of the enterprise. The primary objective of marketing communications is demand generation, the sale of a particular product or group of products. (Kumar, Hsiao, & Chiu , 2009) Unlike corporate communications where the results are often difficult to judge and the objective “fuzzy”, marketing communications is easy to evaluate. If it sell the product is good, and if the product sales increase progressively it is excellent. If the product does not sell it is either poor communications or a poorly conceived product. This question can be resolved through market research.